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Travel card choices

CreditPacMan
Established Contributor

Travel card choices

When you consider travel cards, what perks do you look at?

 

For years, I've always looked at a good airline card and a good hotel card and in combination they produce good results. So as of now, I have the AMEX Delta Skymiles (for the club access) and the AMEX Marriott which is where I always stay. 

 

Am I missing on other perks?

I see the Internet has gone crazy over the Capital One Venture X - does that card in your opinion work better than a combination of two cards?

Current Cards:
Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES 12
FinStar
Moderator

Re: Travel card choices

This all depends on the individual.  No single 'travel' card will be a one-size-fits-all for everyone. For example, there are certain perks/benefits that are offered by the AmEx Platinum Card that are not offered by Capital One Venture X. There is also the multiple ecosystems that individuals are invested in, whether it's MRs, URs, etc. Also, versatility of transfer partners, redemption values, etc.

 

I don't about 'crazy', but if you notice here on the forums, there's really not much craziness about the Venture X. Sure, it's a newly introduced card by Capital One, but the latter is by no means compared to others that blew it out of the water, such as when the Chase Sapphire Reserve was introduced. AmEx' recent elevated SUBs (100K-125K MRs) for the Platinum Card have eclipsed the Venture X as well.  So, 'crazy' is subjective based on market trends.

 

It all boils down to doing the math to see what works or is the right fit for you.

Message 2 of 13
TSlop
Valued Contributor

Re: Travel card choices

Only you can decide what works best for you. General travel cards (like the Venture X or CSR) let you choose whatever flight or hotel you want and earn miles while hunting for the cheapest options. Cobranded cards let you build miles and status quicker than a general travel card, but those points are generally limited to the card. I just learned Marriott points have transfer partners, so not all cobranded points have to stay with the card.

 

Personally, if you always stay in the same hotel chain, the cobranded card is what I would stick with. The same for flights if you exclusively fly Delta. But if you don't exclusively use Delta, you could check out a general travel card that has lounge access.


Message 3 of 13
jdbkiang
Established Contributor

Re: Travel card choices

I look at transferable points (UR/MR/TYP/C1) earning potential, and then which perks match my travel style. I'm not particularly a brand loyalist and will generally not pay too much more than the least expensive option for the times that I need to fly at, but expanding the number of cards I have has certainly helped boost my flexibility. It also comes down to how important travel is to you, since, if you don't travel very often, the benefits and perks may not matter as much. If you're highly brand loyal though, I would at least consider getting a couple more Amex delta/Bonvoy cards as there are benefits to be used for both. 



[2/2019]
Message 4 of 13
Loquat
Moderator

Re: Travel card choices

I know I sound like a broken record as I mention the Citi Premier card quite often when questions of such show up. If you don’t need access to lounges or care about protections, I can’t think of a cheaper card that covers the most ground and has the ability to transfer at 1:1 to partners or cash out at 1cpp.

It covers a lot of ground at the 3x level (gas, grocery, airfare, hotels) all uncapped. Not bad for $95 bucks.

Their partners will take some understanding of how to leverage transfer partners but that isn’t unique to Citi, you’ll need that understanding with any transferable currency. They have a portal just like the rest of the major players (although I’m not a fan of travel portals).

Like others have mentioned, you have to tailor things to your travel habits but if one can live without travel protections and warranties, the Premier card is hard to beat.
Message 5 of 13
wingennis
Established Contributor

Re: Travel card choices


@Loquat wrote:
I know I sound like a broken record as I mention the Citi Premier card quite often when questions of such show up. If you don’t need access to lounges or care about protections, I can’t think of a cheaper card that covers the most ground and has the ability to transfer at 1:1 to partners or cash out at 1cpp.

It covers a lot of ground at the 3x level (gas, grocery, airfare, hotels) all uncapped. Not bad for $95 bucks.

Their partners will take some understanding of how to leverage transfer partners but that isn’t unique to Citi, you’ll need that understanding with any transferable currency. They have a portal just like the rest of the major players (although I’m not a fan of travel portals).

Like others have mentioned, you have to tailor things to your travel habits but if one can live without travel protections and warranties, the Premier card is hard to beat.

I'll listen to you talk about the Premier all day.  Before they made all the changes and stripped the travel protections, this was my favorite travel card.  I still think it is fairly fabulous.

Message 6 of 13
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Travel card choices


@wingennis wrote:

@Loquat wrote:
I know I sound like a broken record as I mention the Citi Premier card quite often when questions of such show up. If you don’t need access to lounges or care about protections, I can’t think of a cheaper card that covers the most ground and has the ability to transfer at 1:1 to partners or cash out at 1cpp.

It covers a lot of ground at the 3x level (gas, grocery, airfare, hotels) all uncapped. Not bad for $95 bucks.

Their partners will take some understanding of how to leverage transfer partners but that isn’t unique to Citi, you’ll need that understanding with any transferable currency. They have a portal just like the rest of the major players (although I’m not a fan of travel portals).

Like others have mentioned, you have to tailor things to your travel habits but if one can live without travel protections and warranties, the Premier card is hard to beat.

I'll listen to you talk about the Premier all day.  Before they made all the changes and stripped the travel protections, this was my favorite travel card.  I still think it is fairly fabulous.


Pretty much. It would not work for me as my one and only travel card because I'd be shelling out $$$ for rental car insurance (something I spend four digits on every year, so I can't use a card that doesn't include it), but in conjunction with another card, it could replace Gold and Green.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k
Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k
Capital One Venture X 11k
AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k
Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL
Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL
Amex Green NPSL
SoFi MC World Elite 8k
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 7.5k
Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k
PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k
Citi AA Mileup 6.9k
Petal2 VISA 6k
DiscoverIt Cashback 5k
Amazon/Synchrony 5k
Hotels.com 5k
Apple Card 3k
AMEX Delta Gold 3k
Cathay Pacific/Synchrony 2.5k
Target 800
Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 7 of 13
sladesurfer
Regular Contributor

Re: Travel card choices


@notmyrealname23 wrote:

@wingennis wrote:

@Loquat wrote:
I know I sound like a broken record as I mention the Citi Premier card quite often when questions of such show up. If you don’t need access to lounges or care about protections, I can’t think of a cheaper card that covers the most ground and has the ability to transfer at 1:1 to partners or cash out at 1cpp.

It covers a lot of ground at the 3x level (gas, grocery, airfare, hotels) all uncapped. Not bad for $95 bucks.

Their partners will take some understanding of how to leverage transfer partners but that isn’t unique to Citi, you’ll need that understanding with any transferable currency. They have a portal just like the rest of the major players (although I’m not a fan of travel portals).

Like others have mentioned, you have to tailor things to your travel habits but if one can live without travel protections and warranties, the Premier card is hard to beat.

I'll listen to you talk about the Premier all day.  Before they made all the changes and stripped the travel protections, this was my favorite travel card.  I still think it is fairly fabulous.


Pretty much. It would not work for me as my one and only travel card because I'd be shelling out $$$ for rental car insurance (something I spend four digits on every year, so I can't use a card that doesn't include it), but in conjunction with another card, it could replace Gold and Green.


I use Amex Premium car insurance all the time. $17 for 45 days

PenFed Power Cash Rewards
Penfed Gold
NFCU Amex More Rewards
NFCU Cash Rewards
NFCU Flagship
Goldman Sachs Apple Card
Chase IHG Rewards Club Card
Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Amex Business Prime Card
Amex Marriott Brilliant Card
Amex Hilton Aspire Card
Amex Charles Schwab Platinum
Amex Gold Card
US Bank Cash+ card
Discover It Card
Capital One Quicksilver Card
Citi Double Cash
Citi Premier
Message 8 of 13
Loquat
Moderator

Re: Travel card choices


@wingennis wrote:

@Loquat wrote:
I know I sound like a broken record as I mention the Citi Premier card quite often when questions of such show up. If you don’t need access to lounges or care about protections, I can’t think of a cheaper card that covers the most ground and has the ability to transfer at 1:1 to partners or cash out at 1cpp.

It covers a lot of ground at the 3x level (gas, grocery, airfare, hotels) all uncapped. Not bad for $95 bucks.

Their partners will take some understanding of how to leverage transfer partners but that isn’t unique to Citi, you’ll need that understanding with any transferable currency. They have a portal just like the rest of the major players (although I’m not a fan of travel portals).

Like others have mentioned, you have to tailor things to your travel habits but if one can live without travel protections and warranties, the Premier card is hard to beat.

I'll listen to you talk about the Premier all day.  Before they made all the changes and stripped the travel protections, this was my favorite travel card.  I still think it is fairly fabulous.


@wingennis I totally agree.  When they removed the benefits and travel protection is dropped slightly in my book but it's still one of my favorite cards and ranks above most of my Amex cards.  It also helps that for the past 3 years Citi has waived the annual fee. 

 

I put a decent amount of spend on this card...especially at the gas station.  My wife drives a gas guzzling Yukon Denali and I drive a 6.4L Scat Pack Charger that not only guzzles gas but swallows nothing but premium to the tune of almost $4 bucks a gallon here. 

 

I do have and use my EveryDay Preferred for fuel as well because I like to diversify by having not only ThankYou points but a stash of Membership Reward Points as well.  My Premier is also my go to once I tap out on the $6k annual spend on my EDP.  

 

I know lots of folks have and enjoy the Gold card but with my EDP and Premier covering grocery...I accomplish the same thing as the Gold for cheaper and without a cap (Premier).

 

Message 9 of 13
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Travel card choices


@sladesurfer wrote:
I use Amex Premium car insurance all the time. $17 for 45 days

It's $20 in my state, and you can't get AMEX premium insurance using a Citi card like the Premier.

 

One of the major selling points for my getting a Venture X is I am not shelling out $$$ for AMEX premium insurance any more. Let alone having to pay gouge rates for rental car company insurance...

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k
Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k
Capital One Venture X 11k
AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k
Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL
Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL
Amex Green NPSL
SoFi MC World Elite 8k
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 7.5k
Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k
PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k
Citi AA Mileup 6.9k
Petal2 VISA 6k
DiscoverIt Cashback 5k
Amazon/Synchrony 5k
Hotels.com 5k
Apple Card 3k
AMEX Delta Gold 3k
Cathay Pacific/Synchrony 2.5k
Target 800
Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 10 of 13
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